The Current Trade Relation between the two Countries is not to the Satisfactory Level
Ethio-Czech Business Forum kicked off in Addis Ababa. A delegation of Czech companies led by H.E. Mr. Vladimír Bärtl, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic visited Ethiopia for two days, aiming at establishing and/or enhancing bilateral ties between the private sectors of both countries in the respective field.
Czech businesspersons are interested to invest in various investment sectors in Ethiopia. This was disclosed by Mr. Ilja Mazanek, Chairman of foreign Section of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, at the Ethio-Czech Business forum that held at the Hilton Addis on May 15, 2018.
Representatives from the Czech and Ethiopian businesspersons took part in the business forum. The main objective of the forum jointly organized by the Addis Ababa Chamber of commerce and sectoral Association and the Czech Embassy in Ethiopia is to boost trade and investment ties between the two countries.
Speaking during the occasion, President of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, Mr. Elias Geneti said Ethiopia and the Czech Republic should strengthen trade and investment in order to exploit the huge potentials in their countries.
He said business communities of both sides need to refresh their potentials and resources to make use of the opportunities laid out in this business forum as part of enhancing the trade and investment partnership.
Trade volume between the two countries during the period, 2012-2017, is worth around USD 118 million. Although the trade balance significantly favors the Czech’s where its export to Ethiopia exceeds its import by USD of 100 million during the same periods, the trade relations still remains very low compared to the potential and our import and export trade experience with several other countries we have, He said.
According to Elias, the current trade and economic relations between the two countries are not to the satisfactory level.
Mr. Vladimír Bärtl, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic said on his part increasing trade and investment based on the mutual benefits is essential.
The governments of both countries should create a conducive environment for investors and the amount of trade and investment between countries should be further boosted, the Deputy Minister added.
The two countries have close to a century old political and economic relations. However, one cannot find it to the expected magnitude. However; it is a matter of fact that the two countries have been proceeding with cultural and social aspects for many years.
The relationship between Ethiopia and the Czech Republic is one of the oldest in the history. One of the most recognized and gratefully remembered by all Ethiopians is the support extended by the Czechs during the Fascist invasion of Ethiopia back in 1930’s.
Archives and documents reveal that a man from Czech arrived at the hinterland of Ethiopia, probably one of the earliest European to make his journey to Ethiopia. The Czech Missionary, Vaclav Remedius Prutky made a journey to Ethiopia during the first half of the eighteenth century to discover the source of the Blue Nile.
Following the formal diplomatic ties of the two countries in 1955, the then Czechoslovak government and its people did not hesitate to share their knowledge and expertise to their fellow Ethiopians.
The case in point was the construction of the first ammunition Factory in Addis Ababa, construction of Melka-Wakena dam, a textile factory in Kombolcha, brewery plants in Harar and Bedelle as well as the development of vineyards among others.